RWDSU Backs Alcantara for Re-election

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Democratic Sen. Marisol Alcantara. The former member of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference faces a primary challenge this year from Robert Jackson, a former New York City councilman. “Marosol Alcantara is a strong voice for working people in Albany and we are proud to endorse her re-election campaign today,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. read more about here:

RWDSU Endorses Sen. Marisol Alcantara For Reelection

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Democratic Sen. Marisol Alcantara. “Marosol Alcantara is a strong voice for working people in Albany and we are proud to endorse her re-election campaign today,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. Continue reading

RWDSU Members Help Deliver Wins for Baraka, Council Members in New Jersey

NEWARK, NJ – Today, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Charles Hall, Jr., President of Local 108 of the RWDSU, congratulated the work of members of RWDSU Local 108 in New Jersey whose tireless efforts helped ensured victory last night for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Council Members Mildred Trump, Carlos Gonzalez, John Sharpe, Eddie Osbourne, Luis Quintana, and Anibal Ramos in Newark, New Jersey. RWDSU members door-knocked, mailed and phone banked for the union’s endorsed candidates across the city throughout the spring to ensure candidates, who would advocate for union values, won tonight.   “We congratulate Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Council Members Mildred Trump, Carlos Gonzalez, John Sharpe, Eddie Osbourne, Luis Quintana ,and Anibal Ramos for their victory tonight,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Because of Mayor Baraka’s leadership, Newark is heading in the right path: one that is revitalizing neighborhoods, creating more jobs, and making communities safer. We look forward to working with him and the City Council to improve the lives of working people in Newark over the next four years and protecting workers’ rights to organize by establishing labor peace in the city.”   “We are proud to support the Mayor and congratulate him in winning another four years leading Newark. He’s the right person at the right time for the challenges ahead. We are entering a renaissance and the Mayor, and the City Council are working hard to make sure no Newarker gets left behind. They’re committed to working hand in hand with labor and we look forward to making sure new jobs coming to Newark are good union jobs,” said Charles Hall, Jr., President of Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 

Saying Me Too is Harder for Low Wage Workers

Faced with vindictive employers and a dearth of good employment opportunities, women fighting sexual harassment and abuse in service-sector jobs face unrelenting pressure to keep quiet. Read about it here at The American Prospect

RWDSU ANNOUNCES FIRST NY CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

NEW YORK, NY – Today, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced the union’s first endorsements in Congressional races across New York State.   “Working people need strong advocates in Washington, D.C. We count on members of Congress to stand up and fight for our rights. And we are proud today to endorse incumbents and candidates who understand that working women and men are the foundation of our society; workers need to be treated with dignity, justice and respect. We will put the full force of our strong union behind these candidates,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Continue reading

RWDSU Endorses Schneiderman for AG

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union today will announce its endorsement of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the Democrat who is seeking a third term this year. Schneiderman, first elected in 2011, has over the last year or so staked out a claim as a blue state bulwark against the policies of President Donald Trump’s administration, filing legal challenges to federal laws, executive orders and regulations. In its endorsement, RWDSU pointed to Schneiderman’s work for immigrants and on wage theft recovery. “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been a tenacious fighter for working people across the state; and his work on recovering wages for workers in the car wash industry has been particularly remarkable,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. “Eric has been persistent in recovering stolen wages for over a thousand workers in an industry that is rife with wage theft, health and safety and immigration issues.” Schneiderman at the moment is expected to face Republican lawyer Manny Alicandro. “We need more leaders like Eric who will stand up for hard working people – who will fight for what is right and challenge anti-worker and anti-immigrant policies in this country,” Appelbaum said. “We strongly endorse his re-election today and we are proud to continue to work with him to protect the rights of workers across New York State.”

The Case for Raising Min. Wage Keeps Getting Stronger

Raising the minimum wage has been hotly debated in cities and states for years. Supporters argue that it's a remedy for widening wage inequality and will boost consumer spending, while opponents counter that it could reduce opportunities for employment, particularly for teenagers and others looking for entry level or low-skilled jobs. Now, another batch of proposed wage hikes is headed for ballots in 2018, with initiatives underway in Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, Washington, and Washington D.C. And this time, as research on earlier minimum wage hikes piles up, the impact on workers is starting to become more clear. The outlook? While some jobs could be lost as a consequence of more ambitious jumps in the minimum wage, the vast majority of workers who remain employed will enjoy higher pay and the economy overall isn't expected to suffer as a result. read about it at CNN

RWDSU Members in Westchester Worked Tirelessly in Support of Shelley Mayer for State Senate

  STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM RWDSU Members in Westchester Worked Tirelessly in Support of Shelley Mayer for State Senate   NEW YORK, NY – Tonight, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) highlighted the work of members in Westchester in support of Shelley Mayer for State Senate, who won her hard-fought campaign tonight. RWDSU members in New York phone banked, door-knocked and canvassed the 37th New York Senate District in support of Shelley Mayer’s campaign this spring.   “Shelley Mayer is a proven advocate for working people. Her years in the New York Assembly have shown that she won’t rest until workers get the justice they deserve – and tonight we congratulate her State Senate campaign win,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Shelley stood with members of the RWDSU when A&P went bankrupt. And she has stood with us to improve wages and working conditions time and time again. This is an important victory for Democrats in the State Senate, and I am proud of the work our members did to ensure Shelly was elected tonight.” # # #

Indiana Coke Workers Win Gains

Local 1976 members employed at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated in Lafayette, Indiana, voted unanimously to approve a new five-year pact. It increases hourly wage rates by $2.15 per hour, and also includes a $500 ratification bonus. In addition, the new contract locks in the current percentage rate of what employees contribute toward the health insurance cost, and increases the monthly pension benefit amount each year. It increases the hourly shift differential and the number of job classifications eligible to receive an hourly differential for having a Class “A” driver license. An hourly differential will also be implemented for Equipment Service Technicians with an EPA Certification with a Federal Refrigeration Recovery License.The new contact expands class protection for more Individuals against discrimination. It guarantees the union’s presence in New Employee Orientation Meetings and provides language improvements in the areas of union leave, jury duty, discharge and suspensions, and vacations. The members of the union’s Bargaining Committee were Local 1976 President Todd Maiden, Edmund Archer, David Black, Brett Percefull, and Robert Tincher. They were assisted by Indiana Joint Board President Dave Altman.

Tipped New York Workers Call for Minimum Wage Reform

Workers in restaurants, nail salons and car washes rallied Friday to kick off a campaign to push for one single minimum wage — instead of the lower one tipped workers currently take home. David Mertz, New York City director of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said car wash workers already face dangerous conditions on the job. “On top of it all, they are told that they have to rely on the kindness of strangers to just put a little bit of money in that tip box. And they have to hope that that money in that tip box actually gets into their pockets,” he said. “It’s a terrible system. There’s no standard for tipping at car washes.” Read more at the NY Daily News Continue reading